7 QUESTIONS TO GUIDE DECISIONS ON INTEGRATION
Ellie Price is the Locus Coalition Coordinator
Sia Nowrojee is the Program Director of the 3D Program for Girls and Women
The 3D Program is a member of the Locus coalition.
On February 21st, 2018, the Locus Learning Work Group set out to answer a priority question on the Research Agenda for Integrated Development: What key criteria should determine when integration is the most appropriate approach in different contexts and scenarios?
Members convened for a workshop led by Learning Work Group Co-Chairs Matt Lineal of Nuru International and Sia Nowrojee of the 3D Program for Girls & Women at the UN Foundation. Through a process of personal reflection – and creative depictions of past experiences designing and implementing integrated programs in both development and emergency settings – we surfaced more questions than answers, but did arrive at a consensus: Different contexts and scenarios demand that we establish different sets of key criteria for assessing if integration is appropriate, who should decide, what should be integrated, and when that determination is made.
By definition, an integrated approach requires bringing people together to address an issue or respond to a need. The specific combination of people involved are the ones who determine the suite of resources at the table available to address it. But not all those resources – human capacity, technical expertise in different sectors, social capital, political will – may be necessary or helpful. So what criteria can people use to decide what sectors and resources to leverage to address a community issue?
Ultimately, the key criteria for determining what and when to integrate depend on the relative value stakeholders place on both assumed and emergent needs, risks, costs, and benefits of an intervention. These can be assessed throughout program planning, design and implementation.